“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” – Drake
As far back as I can remember, I have always been competitive; some may think to a fault. Whatever the activity – from coloring contests to board games to bowling and to running – competition lights a fire within me and I can’t help but to try my best and try to outdo others.
I hate to lose.
I won’t lie; I am hard on myself. However, I feel if I am going to spend time doing something – whether a hobby or a vocation – I am going to give 100% effort to be the best I can be. But, I try to also enjoy the process and not just solely focus on the end goal.
On November 12th, I am running my first full marathon. Marathon training is not an easy or quick affair. Saturday mornings are spent waking at 4:30 a.m. and running for up to 3 hours straight. I am fortunate to have several motivational running partners to help the miles pass. Do I have a goal? Sure do. But, whatever happens on race day, I am still going to be so thankful for this journey – grateful for the new running friends I’ve made and for the reigniting of my passion for running.
Over the last year, I have had conversations with many of you or I’ve watched you from the sidelines. I’ve heard, “If I can’t be competitive in this race, I might as well not run” or “I’ve only lost 8 lbs. so far”. Sometimes I’ve even caught you saying, “I can’t ________ (fill-in-the-blank).”
During these conversations, I become a bit sad and I can’t help but ask myself, “WHY are we so hard on ourselves?” Why does it seem the failures or the mistakes take center stage over the small successes we have along the way?
You should feel accomplished, no matter if you’ve fully reached your goal. Try to find the joy wherever you are in your journey.
Today, I encourage you to do two things:
1. Live intentionally. When 2016 began and I was looking at the year ahead, these two words popped into my head. Be intentional. Whatever you are going to do, actively interact and engage. Make it count.
“When you get right down to it, intentional living is about living your best story.” ― John Maxwell
2. Celebrate small successes along the way. While it is important to create and focus on your long-term goals, be sure to set a few short-term goals. Run the race and don’t focus on time or placing. Remember, there are some people that are still contemplating on how to get to the starting line. Or, if you are on your long run for the week and are feeling terrible; but still finish anyway, celebrate. You still ran 20 miles! Losing weight and you only lost 5 lbs? That’s amazing!
Reaching your goals after pushing through obstacles makes that finish line so much sweeter.
So I ask of you – stop being so hard on yourself; silence your inner critic.
Find the positives and celebrate the small successes!
Until next time,